Petty

I try not to be too petty but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I am still a work in progress after all.

About a year or so ago this guy flirts me up on IG.  He was moving to SF and looking to “make friends“. He came on pretty heavily. I’m sure you can read between the lines on that meaning. We chatted off and on for a bit and eventually he asked if he could text me. I text him and he immediately tells me, “wow did not realize you were a ghetto android user” and then proceeds to ghost me. I clucked to myself and promptly moved on with my life. I’d forgotten about it until recently.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, he apparently moved, or at least was visiting as he sees me in the shower at the gym. He decides to get all “flirty.” To be clear, it was obvious he recognized me. My first thought was to be gracious but my pride got the better of me and I wasn’t having any of his shenanigans. I’m excellent at giving resting bitch face Right before I exited I leaned in for a moment of privacy and said, “I still own an Android.”

I did get to witness the brief look of shock on his face. I won’t lie, in that moment it felt delicious. I did feel guilty for a bit later on but also got over it just as quickly. I know it should have been beneath me but I couldn’t help myself. Frankly, if you’re that effin’ shallow, I’d rather not “know” you anyway. It’s one thing to joke or just “fanboy”, it is quite another to be so incredibly shallow.

51

It’s here folks, I’ve hit 51 today. Parts of my body definitely feel 51 but overall I don’t feel it. I always appreciate well-wishes, kudos, etc, but if you know me you know I don’t make a fuss about it.

On the flip side, realizing I’m half a century old does feel a bit weird. So what does 51 years mean? Well, I can remember when cellphones (and pagers) didn’t exist. I can remember when one had ‘friends‘ they were people you actually knew in person. I can remember the ‘before times’ when there was no internet, social media, or “apps”. I can remember when TVs had 3 or 4 channels at most and that was depending on which frequency bands you could get on your rabbit ears.1 “Streaming music” meant jamming an 8-track tape in a flap that did nothing to keep out years of accumulating dust and listening for the warble of the tape drive kicking in before you turned up the speakers with an actual knob. So yeah, a lot has changed.

Shawn always finds a way to do something incredibly nice or generous for me, so I’m sure it will be lovely. Age comes to us all and most days I’m just grateful I’m still here. If you read w/any regularity you know my younger years were rough and even my initial arrival in SF was a personal struggle. Having come thru it all stronger, albeit w/more scars, I feel good. One of several reasons I started this blog was to help me discover the man I wanted to be. I felt like a blank slate in many ways and needed to find my path in life. I used to think less of myself because I had been convinced I wasn’t a particularly good or moral person. I spent many years doubting I even had a sense of morality or a moral code. Considering the state of affairs today, that irony is not lost on me. Hell, I’m practically a saint by the standards we see in our politics and leaders today. All hail the great and powerful nobody….

As I move into my 51st year, I find myself trying to keep my mind and spirit focused on the things in my life I can control vs letting myself “feel some type of way” about things I have no control over. With age comes wisdom and I’m certainly trying to apply it to myself. I don’t waste a lot of time on regrets, as it just seems pointless. “Shoulda, coulda, woulda” never makes one happier. My life has been and is what is because I never gave up on myself. That pretty sums up my thoughts on my birthday. I still miss my beloved Cooper. His anniversary is just 8 days away and it’s already in my thoughts.

Of course, aging in the gay world has its own challenges. And it isn’t really a secret many gay men struggle with the lack of physical attraction as we age. I’m not tucking, jabbing, or cutting anything to pretend I’m 20 years younger than I am. I have no problem w/physical touch-ups but I’m seeing people in their 20’s, 30’s getting botox over the tiniest of lines. I weep for them in their older years. More importantly, I earned these f**king wrinkles! Luckily, I live in an area where the average age is higher so I’m not really ‘struggling‘ much…yet. 😉

I usually giggle when I hear or see folks inferring my age should deter me from activities I enjoy. Frankly, what you think of me is really none of my business. But I won’t lie, I did have to remind myself of that a few times this past year. It is one thing to be realistic, it is quite another to let yourself be pressured into avoiding life’s pursuits because of the selfish projections of others.

Lastly, I took off from work so I get a nice 5-day weekend. We didn’t really plan any trips, courtesy of Omicron2 but just being off is its own reward. Here’s to another year… above ground!

  1. And god help you if you plugged in a VCR and didn’t set the TV to channel 2 or 3. []
  2. that bitch! []

You

More and more I see gay men locked, or at the very least, struggling with our ever increasing labels. We’ve gone from having labels to having labels within labels it seems. You can’t be a bear anymore, you have to a specific type of bear. You can’t be a daddy, you have to be a specific type of daddy with various different new labels “instead” of the term daddy. lol You can’t be a gaymer, now you have to a specific niche of gaymer. I could list a hundred different examples here. It is enough to drive you crazy if you let it.

This time of year tends to encourage folks to ‘look to the future’ with resolutions so my advice to anyone reading… make resolutions to break away from your labels. Just be you. I’d bet money you are only hurting yourself. From my own past, I learned to let go of labels after spending years feeling isolated or “left out” from parts of gay life I saw as more desirable. In reality I was just insecure about myself and thought if I belonged to said group(s), I’d be less insecure. (Hint – it never works. You just get better at hiding your insecurities.)

It is ok to identify as a label, but step away from feeling like all you are or have to offer is said label. You are more than just a description of labels. Even if you think you fit squarely inside a defined label, there is still more to you than that. More importantly, you do not have to feel defined by the labels given to you by others. One, you will never live up to the expectations of others. Instead, work on setting your own expectations to strive and work toward. Two, strive to accept all of what and who you are. Strive to better yourself on your terms, whatever that may be.

Of course, it is easier said than done. We literally write pathways in our brain by allowing ourselves to become a “label.” But no one will make it all better for you. It is up to you to find the will to change it.

I wish you all a better year than last. 2021 wasn’t great for me, but it also wasn’t terrible. I’m hoping for an even better 2022.

Hope springs eternal….

Smelly

WTF is wrong with these guys that go to the gym and bathe with cologne products? I’m not talking about the roughly 99% of scented products either. And for the f**ker that decided to bathe in Patchouli products today in a enclosed shower space, there is a special place in hell for you! Jesus H Christ Mary Joseph & David!

For the record, if I can smell you more than 3 feet away, you stink, period. I do not care if it’s BO or cologne, no one needs to smell you that far away. Frankly, I place these people into two categories: you stink and are trying to cover it up, or you are insecure and using cologne to try and cover that up. Either way, a little dab is all it takes….NOT a bath in it!

Now get off my lawn, you kids!

Terrible

I admit it, I am a terrible person. Why you ask? Well, because I gloated to myself over another.

Ok, so I don’t feel terrible but I also know I shouldn’t gloat. Let me ‘esplain’. There is a guy at the gym who pre-pandemic was all about his fitness. That, of course, is a good thing, except he was always humble bragging about how important fitness is to one’s health and side-shaming everyone around him. He would routinely make rather insulting comments about anyone he didn’t think put in as much effort as he did. I personally witnessed him fat shame a couple ladies on treadmills to one of the few guys in the gym who would socialize with him. I could go on but I think I conveyed the point.

Oh, and he is also a grunter. Any and every exercise was like he was dying to get that last set in, except it was every set. The worst, right?!

After seeing this guy and his snotty attitude for years at the gym, imagine my surprise upon seeing him lately. OMG! He gained like 40 or 50lbs of chunk. Yes, I know this is the “I’m terrible” part but I can’t help it. And maybe gloating isn’t the right word. I mean, it isn’t like I ran up to him and said, “hey fatty” or made any of the off-hand comments in his presence he used to make about others.  No, I did not do any of that. I’m just a little gleeful to see him get some comeuppance after years of his shitty attitude.

So while I work on keeping the smugness off my face, my hope is that whatever experience he had during the pandemic has taught him a lesson. Yes, fitness is important. However, it isn’t always easy for someone to dedicate themselves to the gym. And talking smack about people on a fitness journey sure as hell doesn’t encourage them to get better or stick with it.

I’m terrible.

 

Awkward

**Disclaimer – an adult rant today about gay shit, you’ve been warned.**

I’ve been navigating the “apps” again recently. I haven’t settled on any hard and fast rules that guide me as of yet, other than honesty. Having had my vaccination shots, I’m relieved on so many levels. However, I still need to worry for those around me as the science isn’t clear yet on the level of protection. Going thru a year of very limited human contact takes its toll. And things are moving so quickly now, it may be moot by the time I figure it all out.

Anyway, I was on one such app when a rando decided to send me a long winded message telling me how non-masculine he felt I was. He was particularly detailed, which would have been comical if it weren’t so sad. He clearly lives local and has seen me around1 as he listed a varied “suggestion list” of things I could do to butch it up. I’m not willing to dwell on the idea he may have actually thought he was being helpful as it would make me very sad.

The joke is on him though as I wasn’t bothered by it. To be fair, there was a time in my life when I would have been secretly devastated. However, that was a long time ago and that particular insecurity has left the building, so to speak. Lawd knows I’ve beaten that horse here often enough.

Our little letter in the alphabet mafia has had a continuing obsession with the idea of masculinity. Ask 10 of my fellow homos the meaning of the word and you’ll most like get 10 different answers. Western culture has become so dependent on the broken idea of hyper-masculinity I doubt we’ll ever sort it out.

I keep getting off topic, sorry I am a bit rusty at this.

The guy listed out my demeanor in public as a ‘dead give away‘. Well, no shit Sherlock!  I do not mold myself in the view of how others see me. I didn’t struggle with the shackles of one broken stereotype to take up another. In a word, I can be awkward at times. While I still have a few small triggers to put on my “big boy” voice, I strive not to put on a facade. My hubby calls it my work voice. Anyway, some random task or action can invoke my rather absent-minded approach to things. There isn’t a lot of forethought put into it, I just act. If that destroys your image of me, oh well. We have a saying for that where I’m from…bless your heart. I’ve learned my demeanor also has the affect of putting people at ease around me. People rarely feel threatened or triggered by me and without realizing it often relax into a more authentic version of themselves.2  It was quite a revelation when that little kernel of knowledge dawned on me all those years ago.

Of course, now that I’m an elder and on the council I do have to maintain an image. lolol I politely told him his ‘advice’ was not needed. I didn’t feel the need to thank him though. *giggle* Was I too subtle?

 

  1. His profile was of course devoid of any photos…I know, right!? lol []
  2. There are few who have the opposite reaction and think I’m an easy mark. They often find out quickly I’m also not stupid. []

Fine

I’ve been so serious here as of late so I thought I’d share something funny that happened to me this past week.

An attorney calls up one day a couple weeks ago about a records request we had produced for him. One of the discs had some erroneous data on it. No biggie, while rare it does happen, we made a mistake. We promptly sent him a new copy.

Fast forward to this past week. The guy calls back and this time one of the discs is blank, or so he says. I’m a bit less cordial (without being rude) this time as I begin to suspect he is playing us. It isn’t unheard of for an attorney to try and get one over on our office for a variety of reasons. Being devious, I offer him the option to swing by and drop off the disc so I can give him the new one vs making him wait while we mail him yet another disc. Now our lobby is currently closed to the public due the pandemic, but with the lower cases lately we have some discretion. And in my head I’m thinking I’m going to catch him in a big lie. Well, the joke ended up being on me.

He swings by and I get a call from the Sheriff desk he is here. I put on my best bitchy “I caught you in a lie” face and head down. And then it all just falls apart. I first had to pick my jaw up off the floor as the MF’r was FINE as hell!  I mean, “drop an egg and it roll down my pants” fine! I mean slap yo momma fine! He was stunning! Imagine Tom Ellis from the show Lucifer, but a bit shorter, dark blond hair, piercing green eyes, a slightly stronger jaw line covered in stubble and slightly more bulging muscles. He is wearing a well fitted shirt/tie with slacks. I actually caught my breath because I was so utterly shocked. If I had pearls I definitely would have clutched them in that moment. hehehe It was made worse by his completely calm and friendly demeanor, no gaydar pings unfortunately. He was nice and had these big paw like hands on him as he reached to shake my hand. (We aren’t supposed to shake hands but lawd baby jeebus I’ve had my shots and I couldn’t help myself.) I tend to have a firm handshake and guys will often comment on it. He did comment and I melted like butter inside. You could have scraped me off the floor.

And sure enough the disc was blank. So then I felt about two feet tall for thinking the worst and was falling all over myself to apologize, all the while taking in the breath-taking display that is this M-A-N! It is made worse because I think I actually felt myself blushing, which is just not something I do. As I repeatedly try to untie my tongue, I hand off the disc and he has an ever so slight humorous smirk on his face. Of course, I turn away quickly so he cannot see my full on blushing! I pretend I’m coughing so I can recover myself. Once I feel I’m at least not bright red, I turn to thank him one last time as he saunters away with his damn near perfect butt bouncing in those slacks.

I go back upstairs to collect myself and I’m quite sure the cleaning crew had to be called to clean up the slime trail I’m sure I had left in my wake. lolol I don’t know if it was the isolation, the testosterone boost from being back in the gym, my naturel gregarious nature, or all of the above, but I was flustered for a good 15 minutes after it was over. I’m sure he delights in knowing he has that affect on women and men as his smirk looked positive and had that knowing realization with it. Hell, it’s been days since it happened and I think I still might need a moist towelette after I finish this post.1

Of course, I had to call my husband and laugh with him and then blow up my coworkers texts on her day off to thank her for the blank disc she sent him. I was so tickled and it was a definite mood booster for the rest of the day.

Even an old dog like me can get flustered at times. Now you know…

  1. TFA if you are reading this post, remember the first time we met? Yeah, I would have begged him too! []

He Was Nice to Me

A somewhat well known racist in our community passed away recently. I won’t mention his name, nor will I link to anything about him here. My rant today has more to do with all the gays1 falling all over themselves to defend their friendship with said person as they mourn his passing.

As a bit of back story, I met this person multiple times in my tenure here in SF. Sometimes it was here in SF and others while I was back visiting in Texas, where he lived for a length of time. Without fail, every time I met this person he managed to tell me in various phrases and words about his racist views. It should come as no surprise he was also a rabid trump supporter. Granted, our first meeting didn’t go so well when I asked why he had a confederate flag tattoo on his chest.2 He gave the typical BS excuse about white heritage.

Fast forward to his recent death and the eulogies about how “they didn’t always see eye to eye but he was a good friend.”  It was almost as if they all got together to work on a standardized message. It would be comical if it wasn’t so pathetic. I encountered the same phrasing from various folks on IG multiple times; talking about how “genuine” and “what a great friend” he was prior to his death. He was a proud racist and made no bones about it and these sycophant fa**ots are touting his virtues.

It shouldn’t surprise me, but because some of the people involved I used to admire, it did. Granted, after I reflected on why I admired these guys it was mostly due to their prowess in the gym and/or attractiveness to me. So yeah, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Seeing some of these guys just falling over themselves to qualify “he was always a good friend to me“, or “he was always nice to me“, etc was pretty disgusting. So that makes it ok? In other words, “I knew he was a racist but because he liked me, it didn’t matter.” Hitler was nice to white people, did that make him ok? The most laughable argument was “I wish people knew him in real life vs his social media persona“.  Yeah, I can personally shoot that weak argument down. And to bear, it is just code for he knew we were uncomfortable with his views so he avoided talking too much about them around us so we could pretend he was a good guy. 

Are we so broken as a community that attraction is more important than morals? Or maybe I’m deluding myself that we were ever anything better. There are a lot of things we can agree to disagree on but racism definitely is not one of them. If you’re butt-hurt for being called out on your friendship with a vocal racist, maybe you should spend some time examining why his views weren’t a deal breaker instead of shrugging it off with comments like  “we should respect the dead”. He might be dead but the rot in our community is alive as ever.

  1. read as cis-white gay men []
  2. A tattoo he later had covered up for some “unknown” reason []

Optimisitic

First, thank you to the folks who reached out to me after my last post. I wasn’t down or depressed. I find talking about it quite therapeutic. It was on my mind so I put pen to paper, so to speak. But, yes I’m doing well.

I’ve found myself feeling optimistic again lately. It helps that we are back in the gym again…again. I feel like we’ve crossed a major hurdle now and we are over the worst of this pandemic. The supply is now on track and a 3rd vaccine just got an EUA.1 It is my prediction we won’t see anymore severe lockdowns, at least here in California. Hopefully, my words bear out to be true.

Speaking of the gym, after the first severe lockdown and they sorted out a tier system, I had the roughest time getting back into a solid gym routine. Ironically, right when I found my stride they got shut down again. We’ve been back at it for a couple weeks now and this time it wasn’t as hard. It was a shorter break but I was surprised I didn’t need the extra weeks to build back endurance. The weight I’m slinging is still much lower, but it feels good to be back.

Fun fact, the government will not mandate the vaccine. Vaccines released under EUA aren’t eligible for mandatory vaccination orders. While I trust the sciences, EUAs are designed to allow for immediate use while study continues. However, that does not mean you won’t see restrictions on day to day activities from private companies. You may end up having to show proof to go back to in-person work, fly, or return as an adult to college, etc.

Locally, we are moving into the Red Tier this week. Red is still restrictive but a lot of businesses, including restaurants, get to re-open at limited capacity.  New cases have been below 100 per day for almost two weeks now and available ICU beds are way up. It seems people in general are more optimistic and looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, as vaccinations rise, we will ease back to normal by year end. I’ve even seen some big events toward the end of the year start planning for in person gatherings.

For myself, I miss hugging. Such a small thing but I miss it. Sure, I miss traveling. I miss the ease of just “doing things”, but it’s the little things I miss the most. I miss the casual intimacy that comes from being close to people you know. I’m eagerly looking forward to it.

As always, hope springs eternal…

  1. Emergency Use Authorization []

50

Well, the terrible day has arrived. I’m 50! (Yes, I’m totes joking)

As I’m fond of saying, I’ve reached ancient in gay-years. I’m an elder now. It is time for to don my robe, take up my staff, and take a seat on the #alphabetmafia council. (If you are on TikTok, you know where that phrase came from. I love it!) I mean those free toasters aren’t always enough to swell our ranks, am I right? Apparently, I’m supposed to have lost interest in a whole host of activities I’m still participating in.1 day. I’m hoping the Biden/Harris inauguration goes off without too much drama.

I joke but I know a lot of gay men struggle with aging. Our community isn’t always the kindest to older gays. I’ve never minded my age or aging. And considering for a few reasons, I never thought I’d even reach 50, I’m perfectly fine with it. Sure, there are times I might feel the sting of being less attractive or less appealing as years past, but those things are superficial. I try to take it in stride. My life was a tragic rollercoaster ride before I made it to 25, so 50 has been an easy target.

I can actually remember one time when I was still new to blogging wondering what I would be doing if I made it to 50. In my mind it was a far off place full of disbelief and what-ifs. lolol  Well, here I am. I like to think I’m a better man than I was back then. I certainly struggled along the way. I am a little proud that I am still blogging, albeit nowhere near as often. I took to blogging like it was made for me back then. This blog has been a priceless tool in my journey of self-discovery. I credit so much of my emotional growth to this medium.

As I hit the half centennial mark, I do realize the scope of my age and the breadth of changes in me, my life, and the world around me. I mean, I am old enough to remember Pong after all. There was not internet when I was a kid. There was no cell/smart phones, WIFI, Bluetooth, or social media. Hell, even 911 didn’t exist until I was in high school. Cars didn’t have seatbelts, gasoline was less than a dollar per gallon, TV’s had less than 10 channels with no remote control. Cassette tapes were the size of a small tablet and restaurants still had “smoking or non” in one room. The world has jumped far ahead in technology. Sadly, I’ve witnessed many of the very tools meant to unite us only serve to divide us further.

I’m not feeble just yet but I can’t push myself like I used to when I was a wee lad. That would probably be my only regret at this point. I’m still pretty fit, covid-19 times considered, but the body isn’t as resilient. I’m eagerly headed back to the gym (outdoors) this coming weekend. I had several minor injuries in 2019 that plagued me throughout the whole year. It made me realize I’m not as spry and flexible as I used to be. That said, I look forward to more years in the gym.

I have never been huge on birthdays so not much is planned. I have to work for one. With the covid-19 restrictions still very much in effect, I’ll probably end up doing what I usually do. Sit my wide ass on the couch, cuddle with Daisy2, and play video games. I know I know, I’m not supposed to like video games at my age. Pissh! Tosh! I do what makes brings me joy, naysayers notwithstanding.

I look forward to my years ahead, however many that might be. And as always, hope springs eternal…

 

  1. Maybe now that I am on the council of elders, I’ll be able to get my memos more regularly.) )

    To be honest, I don’t feel 50. Well, parts of me feel 50 but overall, I don’t feel it. My face might look it, but I don’t feel it. And 50 appears to be the new 40 in many of my circles so I guess I don’t have to go into seclusion just yet. Of course, today is also inauguration ((corrected – thanks Kevin! []

  2. and Toby []